At this time of year, it is especially poignant to reflect on the plight of children suffering from one particular kind of abject hardship – bed poverty. This is, after all, when the phrase “no crib for a bed” becomes ubiquitous and, sadly, for far too many youngsters the comfort of a bed of their own – or perhaps any bed at all – is not theirs to enjoy. How easily the more fortunate members of society take such a thing for granted.
So The Independent is proud to support a smaller charity dedicated to trying to do something about this social evil – Zarach. It was founded by a teacher, Bex Wilson, who witnessed at first hand the deleterious effects that lack of rest can inflict upon young, developing minds and bodies. As a deputy head at a school in Leeds, Ms Wilson found that one 11-year-old boy “wasn’t his usual happy self, so I asked if he was feeling tired. His response at that moment, not that I knew it at the time, was to change both my life and his. ‘Miss, I am always tired. I don’t have a bed.’”
No wonder Ms Wilson set about doing something about the predicament in which the boy’s family found itself, and the turnaround in the pupil’s prospects that resulted. For a relatively modest investment, priceless life chances can be restored or enhanced. It is a charitable donation that, as the phrase goes, just keeps on giving. Some £180 at Zarach can provide a bed, mattress, duvet, pillows, pyjamas, and a hygiene kit for a child in need. Families are also given a £30 supermarket voucher for a Christmas meal. The appeal is still open.
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